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How do you know if working in advertising is not right for you? First creative job and I can’t tell if it’s imposter syndrome, growing pains, or if I just should give up pursuing advertising.

likefunny
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The fact you got a job says you're probably good enough to do it. There are so many people that never even make it as far as you currently are.

Probably just growing pains. I remember my first job. I used to sit in meetings and write down all the words, acronyms, phrases I didn't understand, then Google them when I got back to my desk.

The learning curve is very steep. But pay attention ask questions, work hard, and you'll probably be fine.

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The valley of disappointment is real. Give it a little time, prioritize your health, put in an honest effort for a few years.

You’re better than you think. Creatives often have unreasonable expectations for themselves. It means you have good taste. Doesn’t mean you’re bad at your job.

Personally, the moment i realized that I can’t rely on my employer to fill my life with creative fulfillment, I began focusing more on personal projects or hobbies that kept me fulfilled. And the disappointment slowly faded…

This is all just random thoughts but hope it helps.

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likehelpful

I don’t know you but can’t only assume it’s imposter syndrome. You got this job for a reason and it’s important to remind yourself how talented and appreciative you are of yourself. Just know everyone goes through this and with time it’ll get less and less difficult.

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I wouldn’t count yourself out too quickly, it could be the agency or the work that doesn’t fit for you. I was lucky that my first internship was a good experience because if I had based my career off of my second internship or first junior position, I would have probably changed paths.

likesmart

Did you go to school for advertising? Did you get a job? Then congrats you are good enough to work in advertising. But you have to have thick skin and be used to killing all your babies. Which you should have learned well in ad school. It takes lots of failures to find the good work. It takes 1000 headlines to write the good one. You’ll feel not good enough for a long time. Until one day you feel slightly less not good enough.

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Don’t be too hard on yourself. At this point, you’re not supposed to be “good”. Learn learn learn. Give it some reps. If after a bit it’s still not feeling right, try to get into another shop. Give it time and try have some fun. Good luck.

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I was in the same boat for awhile too. I honestly felt embarrassed calling myself an Art Director cause it didn’t feel like I was directing much of anything. But looking back that was the era where I grew the fastest. I was pretty open about my creative shortcomings and I got a lot of mentorship. I was brought onto a lot of projects to assist which was amazing for building a network.

If I were you I would try and enjoy the journey as much as you can. Working at an agency gives you access to creatives that others struggle to get coffee chats with. That’s a major advantage.

likehelpful

So, maybe you’re not that good. Maybe you are. Look around, and I promise you’ll find a slew of people who are in the industry who just suck. No talent. No whatever. I bet you’re better than some of them. So, yeah, you belong if you say you belong.

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I’m still trying to figure that out.

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Thank you to everyone who has responded so far! I’m in the health space which I’ve found especially challenging so I’m massively grateful for all the advice.

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Well the health space is not a reflection of the industry so ... I used to advise folks to give it a try across 2-3 agencies before they consider the big change.

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I was in the health space and didn’t enjoy it. Managed to work hard on my book and move to a non pharma agency, and liked it a lot better. I’d take some time to figure out what parts of the job are making you uncomfortable or prompting you to feel like you’re not a right fit. Is it the content or topic? Then maybe pharma is the problem. Is it the type of people? If so, maybe it’s just this agency. But if it’s the fast pace, or the presenting, or the realization that a lot of your good ideas aren’t going through, that’s just agency life. You’ll get used to it over time, but if you feel like you can’t, then it might be worth exploring other industries.

helpful

😕 I see.

Keep an open mind and observe. Suck it all up like a sponge. Maintain a healthy skepticism but also a naviete and optimism because you've only just begun and it WILL get sucked out of you. Read up on beyond creativity and ideation and delve into other aspects like strategy and planning. Watch case videos. Immersion is key. You'll fail until at one point, everything you've sucked up clicks into place and suddenly makes sense. That'll be a tipping point. You'll get a win. It gives you the confidence to push. And if you maintain the same qualities as you begun, it'll take off. Always be a beginner.

helpful

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